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Books Related to Jaynes's Bicameral Mind Theory

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Books that Refer to Julian Jaynes's Theory

Below is a sampling of the thousands of books that cite or refer to Julian Jaynes's theory, showing its wide-ranging, ongoing influence — some of them may surprise you. Inclusion in this list does not constitute an endorsement by the Julian Jaynes Society.

Urban Aboriginals
Geoff Mains

"In perhaps the most spectacular theory to come out of this recent knowledge, Julian Jaynes proposes that human consciousness as we know it today emerged only several thousand years ago and as a direct result of the emphasis on certain communication channels between the two chambers (or hemispheres) of the cerebral cortex. This sudden shift in the perception of reality, if it occurred, may well have been a product of culture."

A History of Reading
Alberto Manguel

"The American psychologist Julian Jaynes, in a controversial study on the origin of consciousness, argued that the bicameral mind ... is a late development in humankind's evolution, and that the process by which this function develops is still changing."

Spiritual Intelligence and the Neuroplastic Brain: A Contextual Interpretation of Modern History
Charles W. Mark

"Princeton University psychology Julian Jaynes, author of the controversial book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, says that language originated as a cultural necessity for people to live together in human communities."

Culture and Self: Asian and Western Perspectives
Anthony J. Marsella, George A. De Vos, Francis L. K. Hsu (eds.)

"As we hear from Jaynes and Snell and Onians, what at first glance seems to be the psychological language of the Iliad does not translate accurately into terms from our common language like spirit or soul, mind, thought, consciousness, emotion, will, or their resonable equivalents in the Greek of classical times."

The Neural Imagination: Aesthetic and Neuroscientific Approaches to the Arts
Irving Massey

"As Julian Jaynes puts it, 'To hear is actually a kind of obedience."

The Redemptive Self: Stories Americans Live By
Dan P. McAdams

"Jaynes argued that consciousness is an operation of the human mind involving the construction of an analog space with an analog 'I' that observes the space, moves metaphorically within the space, and narrates that movement over time..."

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Weird Word Origins
Paul McFedries

"Do you find yourself agreeing with the psychologist Julian Jaynes when he says that 'we tend too much to think of language as being solid as a dictionary, with a granite-like permanence, rather than as the rampant restless sea of metaphor which it is?'"

The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World
Iain McGilchrist

"Jaynes, who was a psychologist at Princeton with an interest in the ancient world, put foward a thesis that consciousness, in the sense of introspective self-awareness, first arose in Homeric Greece."

The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, UFOs, Evolution, Shamanism, the Rebirth of the Goddess, and the End of History
Terence McKenna

"... [Jaynes] says that even as late as Homeric time, people wandered around rather automatically, and when they got into a very tight spot, suddenly there would be a voice in their head saying, 'You're in a tight spot. Here's what you should do.' They called this God, or a god, or the king (living or dead). This became the ego, the voice we now call 'me' ..."

Evolution, Culture, and Consciousness: The Discovery of the Preconscious Mind
Thomas E. McNamara

"One of the most intriguing variations of this general theory about the prehistoric evolution of consciousness has been presented by Julian Jaynes."

Intoxicated Identities: Alcohol's Power in Mexican History and Culture
Tim Mitchell

"Julian Jaynes famously hypothesized that human consciousness rests upon the vestigial substrate of an ancient, terribly authoritarian type of cerebral organization that he called 'the bicameral mind.'"

Trance Forms: A Theory of Performed States of Consciousness
Ronaldo Morelos

"Jaynes suggested that substantial qualitative differences are evident between the sensations of agency and subjectivity in the human 'mentality' of the ancients — prior to 3,000 years ago — to that in the modern type of consciousness that we experience now."

Where God Lives: The Science of the Paranormal and How Our Brains are Linked to the Universe
Melvin Morse and Paul Perry

"One of the best historical analyses of this question was done by Princeton psychologist Julian Jaynes ... who has studied the physiology of consciousness."

Constitutional Democracy: Creating and Maintaining a Just Political Order
Walter F. Murphy

"Moreover, Julian Jaynes ... points out that at almost every crucial point in the Iliad, a god intervenes and takes over. These mortals are not self-determining beings."

A Stranger in the Family: A True Story of Murder, Madness, and Unconditional Love
Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith

"Jaynes was the author of The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, an astonishingly original and widely acclaimed book as well as a huge bestseller that had helped revolutionize the theory of consciousness even as it remade popular conceptions of how the mind works."




The Perfect Machine: Television and the Bomb
Joyce Nelson

"Just as Julian Jaynes's ancient cultures, where the internally heard speech of the gods was prompted by props like the corpse of a chieftain or a statue, so, too, our internalized media echoes are triggered by products, props, or situations in the environment."

Sociology: Exploring the Architecture of Everyday Life Readings
David M. Newman

Psychologist Julian Jaynes defines civilization as 'the art of living in towns of such size that everyone does not know everyone else.'"

Buddha's Nature: A Practical Guide to Discovering Your Place in the Cosmos
Wes Nisker

"In his now famous study ... Julian Jaynes claims that in early Greek culture 'the gods take the place of consciousness.'"

The Big Bang, The Buddha, and the Baby Boom
Wes Nisker

"In his now famous study ... Julian Jaynes claims that in early Greek culture 'the gods take the place of consciousness.'"

The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size
Tor Norretranders

"'Consciousness is a much smaller part of our mental life than we are conscious of, because we cannot be conscious of what we are not conscious of,' the American psychologist Julian Jaynes wrote in his landmark work from 1976..."

The Anatomies of God, the Bible, and Religion: Decoding the Old and New Testaments
Donald R. Nuss

"Princeton University psychologist Julian Jaynes, in his groudbreaking book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, explains how ancient people from Mesopotamia to Peru could not 'think' as we do today and were not conscious."

Best Laid Schemes: The Psychology of Emotions
Keith Oatley

"Jaynes takes the hypothesis of the unconsciousness of the Homeric heroes a step farther. He argues that when Homer describes how gods appear, as Athena to Achilles, this is to be taken literally."

Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond
Meg Daley Olmert

"Jaynes made the case that many brain activities we consider advanced, such as different kinds of learning, concept making, problem solving, thinking, even reasoning, take place unconsciously."

Orality and Literacy
Walter J. Ong

"Jaynes discerns a primitive stage of consciousness in which the brain was strongly 'bicameral', with the right hemisphere producing uncontrollable 'voices' attributed to the gods which the left hemisphere processed into speech."

The Right Mind: Making Sense of the Hemispheres
Robert Ornstein

Toward a Theology of Nature: Essays on Science and Faith
Wolfhart Pannenberg and Ted Peters

"Julian Jaynes ... assumes a close interrelation of the origins of language, art, and religion."

New Physics and the Mind
Robert Paster

"Jaynes proposes that ancient people, prior to three thousand years ago, were not conscious in today's sense, did not have a sense of self, a sense of 'I'"

The 6th Target
James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

"Jaynes says that back then, humans believed that their own thoughts came from outside themselves, that their thoughts were actually commands from the gods."

The Daemon: A Guide to Your Extraordinary Secret Self
Anthony Peake

Sound Mind, Sound Body: A New Model For Lifelong Health
Kenneth R. Pelletier

"...[John Sculley's] office walls are lined with such demanding books as Ilya Prigogine and Isabelle Stenger's Order Out of Chaos and Julian Jaynes's The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.

Signposts in a Strange Land: Essays
Walker Percy and Patrick Samway

"This capacity for language seems to be, in the evolutionary scale, a relatively recent, sudden, and explosive development. .... Julian Jaynes ... believes it appears to have ocurred in Neanderthal man as recently as the fourth glaciation, which lasted from about 75,000 to 35,000 years ago."

New Horizons in the Neuroscience of Consciousness
Elaine Perry, Daniel Collerton, Fiona E.N. LeBeau, and Heather Ashton (eds.)

"... Julian Jaynes outlined an origin of psychotic symptoms secondary to cerebral laterialization as a sociological phenomenon occuring relatively late in hominin evolution, i.e. at the time of Greek civilization ... "

Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research, Second Edition
Lawrence A. Pervin and Oliver P. John

"Some theorists reject the notion that the self evolved. Julian Jaynes has argued that a sense of self only developed about 3,000 years ago. Before that, he claims, the left and right hemispheres of the brain were not integrated."

How the Mind Works
Steven Pinker

"Julian Jaynes claimed that consciousness is a recent invention. The people of early civilizations, including the Greeks of Homer and the Hebrews of the Old Testament, were unconscious. Dennett is sympathetic to the claim; he believes that consciousness 'is largely a product of cultural evolution that gets imparted to brains in early training'..."

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
Neil Postman